Yesterday afternoon at 4:15 I stood up from working at my desk and felt a hot twinge in my right Achilles tendon. It was about a “4” on the pain scale. I walked it off and went to get dressed in running gear.
Twenty strides into the run the Achilles twinged all over again. I stopped. This time the pain registered about a “6.” I thought, “Okay, time to go back home.”
I took our dog Lucy for a walk to see how the Achilles would respond to easy movement. Twice during the walk, the ankle area seized with pain, stopping me literally in my tracks. “Okay,” I said out loud. “That was about a ‘7’ “. My dog just looked at me.
The snow wasn’t deep where we were walking, but now I was nervous about moving around on anything but stable ground. We navigated a snowy field where Lucy got her business done. Then we walked home again.
Back home I decided to strip down and climb into a hot whirlpool bath. The jets ran on my ankle and that felt good. Yet when I changed positions or the tip of my toes pressed against the tub side, I could feel the hot tingle around the Achilles. “3, 3, 3…” I muttered.
Digging around with my fingers, I tried sensing the source and location of the injury. By the time I got out of the tub it was worrying me quite a bit. Unpredictable injuries like that can turn into big problems. I’ve known a few people that have torn their Achilles tendon. It’s not small deal. Surgery. Months of recovery.
During the evening I walked around gingerly and the tendon flared a few more times hitting an ‘8’ one time. I took a few Advil because Ibuprofen works for me.
We sat down to watch the Senate vote on Joe Biden’s certification. I lay there gently flexing my ankle now and then. A glass of whisky helped some.
As I climbed into bed the tendon continued pulsing now and then. During the night a low pain at a “2” woke me up a few times. However, it was what I’d call a “healing pain,” the kind that comes on gently, peaks and dissipates. As the night went on, the pain reduced to a short throb.
By this morning, I was walking around pain-free. What I surmised is that wearing a pair of shin-high hiking boots around for a couple days put my Achilles through some adverse paces. I like the boots for tromping around on snowy days, but they are clunky and tight around the ankle. Taking them off yesterday, I had to struggle to pull them off. That might have strained the Achilles.
The leftover pain resolved itself to the outside of my right ankle overnight. That told me where the trouble is. I’ll have to think twice about wearing that set of boots.
Scares like this certainly make us appreciate being in a healthy state. The fear of having a chronic or profound Achilles program humbled me. There is no way that I could have seen that problem coming, but I’m grateful that today my ankle seems to be better. I guess I’m lucky to have given that Achilles heel problem the boot, so to speak.